Joachim Löw: Manuel Neuer needs to be ′100 percent fit′ to go to Russia | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 24.05.2018
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Joachim Löw: Manuel Neuer needs to be '100 percent fit' to go to Russia

Joachim Löw has said he has been encouraged by Manuel Neuer's progress in recovering from a foot injury. However, he also said his captain will need to be "100 percent fit" if he is to make the final World Cup squad.

Germany coach Joachim Löw said on Thursday that he believes Manuel Neuer, his captain and first-choice goalkeeper, will be ready for the World Cup in Russia, but that he will only take him if he's "100 percent fit."

Neuer, 32, is still recovering from a foot fracture that caused the Bayern Munich keeper to miss most of the past Bundesliga season.

"As of today there aren't any issues, not even with high-impact moves, like jumps," Löw told a press conference at the German training camp in nothern Italy. "He looks very good at the moment," he added.

"He must prove that he has absolutely no problems. When we have the feeling that he is 100 percent, only then will he [be in the squad]. We will see from day to day."

Since naming his provisional squad of 27 players, including four goalkeepers early last week, Löw has repeatedly expressed optimism that Neuer will make the final roster that travels to Russia.

Neuer, who injured his foot last September, took part in Germany's training session on Thursday. And although he did not play for Bayern since then, he did resume training with the team earlier this month.

Löw also confirmed that Mesut Özil and Jerome Boateng were also making progress in their recoveries. Özil is still experiencing issues with his back while Boateng is dealing with a groin injury.

Working one-on-one

Löw also told the press conference that he expected a lot of opponents to sit deep against Germany at next month's tournament and planed to take that into account when designing the team's training sessions in South Tyrol.

"We know we'll be facing deep-sitting, well-organized defense," Löw said. "So we'll be working hard on breaking teams down in one-on-one situations and making the right runs."

Löw also spoke in high regard of midfield general Toni Kroos, who will take part in Saturday's Champions League final for Real Madrid.

"He's matured massively in recent years, especially playing abroad for such a huge club," Löw said. "He is always in the middle, is composed, has clear ideas and works very professionally. He is absolutely crucial for us. He leads the team from his position."

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